It’s almost impossible to keep up with the arts and the culture and the entertainment and food and drink and the people and the places here in MPLS + STPL, so we’ve put together this list of stuff that we’re using as talking points this week and sharing them with you to pretend like they’re you’re own.

Who: Esko Thompson

We’ve been a little hard on Art-a-Whirl since it felt like that certain punk DIY spark went missing and the music fest took over. We were won back this weekend by—no not Bonnie Bear’s “surprise” set at Indeed Brewing, lol—Esko Thompson (pictured), the pop-up installation that captured the ‘NORTHer’ spirit. A jab at the movement to brand us The North (which we support, btw), Esko Thompson is even further North than Askov Finlayson, in branding and actual MN geography. The store squatted in a barely under-construction space to sell camping cups, beanie hats that say NORTHER (which we bought), t-shirts, axes, and more of the stuff you see in hipster high end stores. It was social commentary, it was brilliantly executed, it was hilarious, it was art.

What: Square Lake Film Fest

With it’s mix of films, bands, and quick trip out of the city during the summer, the Square Lake Film Fest the easily one of the best block party/fests of the summer, which is why it also always sells out. This year’s music is even bigger than ever: Roma di Luna, Gramma’s Boyfriend, The Black Eyed Snakes, iNMiGRATiON, and a live film score and set by ZULUZULUU. Better get them tix! 

 Where: Head Flyer Brewing

We told someone that we just had some pretty good beer at the new tap room on Hennepin and their response was “which one”. Says a lot about our brewery growth! But we were bellied up on East Hennepin at the new Head Flyer, right by Familia Skate Shop. The beers were good—particularly the Juicy IPA and the “Tessellation” Pale Ale—and the space was fun, especially the extra cute puppy melting everyone’s hearts. Still not enough tap rooms!

Why (Oh, Why)?: Later bar close time for the Super Bowl

The omnibus liquor bill didn’t make it through the Minnesota Legislature, which means that the state hasn’t authorized bars to be open until 4 AM during the Super Bowl. For fans who come into town want to experience a taste of the our “Bold North”, we can’t think of a better way than saying “sorry, bar’s closed, we have these things called Blue Laws and you gotta find somewhere else to go” at 2 AM. And kidding aside, it’s total BS that the bill’s provision to let small breweries that become medium sized breweries like Fulton sell growlers not becoming law is a dereliction of legislative duty, but what else is new.